Libertarianism fascinates us early on and arouses our suspicions as we get closer to it. It’s fascination lies in its appeal to freedom for responsible people. We all know not all people are always responsible, some never so. The Libertarians try to take that into account but we are always left with a nagging doubt as to how it would work out across a large swath of the population. The Devil is in the details. Nevertheless, the pull of freedom is strong.
So what’s wrong? Here is an analysis, brief, that is beyond my knowledge but does articulate that deep doubt most of us have about Libertarianism. It’s from the book I’ve been quoting from, The Origins of Political Order. In it, Fukuyama states:
But a fair normative order also requires power. If the king was unwilling to enforce the law against the country’s elites, or lacked the capacity to do so, the law’s legitimacy would be compormised no matter what its source in religion, tradition, or custom. This is the point that Hayek and his libertarian followers fail to see: the Common Law may be the work of dispersed judges, but it would not have come into being in the first place or been enforced, without a strong centralized state.
That’s what it is… eso si que es…… vot v tom delo… (I think I got the Russian right………… the legal system that the state would invoke to control fraud and violence has to be put into place in the first place, to be set rolling, by the very thing the Libertarians despise and reject: a strong state with a government with teeth. Assessing and collecting taxes gives the state power and the power allows the state to enforce laws, no matter their provenance, which in turn protect the Libertarians and everyone else.